In this digital age when so many children seem to be glued to screens from a very young age, it is comforting to find an old-fashioned toy store where nothing much has changed over the years. Kidz Stuff, the iconic toy shop in Mitchell Street, has not only endured for a quarter of a century, but continues to thrive under the loving ownership of Theresa and Chris Fenn.
This month Kidz Stuff celebrates a rare milestone – its 25th birthday. While its history goes all the way back to 1990 when Jane Day started a baby clothing store inside Chilli Pepper, toys were added to the range in 1995 and became the main focus under the ownership of Martin and Madelaine de Klerk, who moved Kidz Stuff to its current premises in 1997.
The Fenns moved to Hermanus from Cape Town and took over Kidz Stuff in 2016. “We found everything we wanted here and it’s a great town to live and work in,” says Theresa. “Hermanus has all the necessary infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, and yet it still feels like a village. We love the vibe in the CBD and enjoy being able to walk everywhere.”
While Chris looks after the logistics such as the acquisition of new stock, Theresa is in the shop every day alongside Rozlin April. Rozlin has been with Kidz Stuff for seven years and Theresa says they were lucky that she agreed to stay on. “She was a familiar face to customers and has been a great help to us since we opened our doors.”
Both Rozlin and Theresa are experienced with children (Theresa’s face lights up when she talks about her four grandchildren, aged between one and 9 years) and delight in their company. “We only stock quality brands that are designed to entertain and educate,” says Theresa. “Children need that active participation, not passive screen time.” She adds that it was heartwarming to see how many parents bought educational toys, board and card games, puzzles and LEGO sets to keep their youngsters occupied while the schools were closed during lockdown.
Although they no longer stock baby clothes, Kidz Stuff has a comprehensive baby department that offers everything from camp cots and baby linen to prams, car seats, mobiles and play gyms. Sourcing new and exciting stock has been driven by customer demand and includes fun educational toys and books, smart games, construction kits, collectable toys, and an impressive arts and crafts section. The variety of goods in a shop of this modest size is truly astonishing and Theresa is proud of the fact that several brands, such as Steffi and Evi, are stocked exclusively in Hermanus by Kidz Stuff.
Among the quality brands you’ll find Playmobil, LEGO, Duplo, Smart Play, Zingo, Paulinda, Melissa & Doug, Sylvanian Families, Hasbro, Castorland and RGS puzzles, and Our Generation dolls and accessories, to mention but a few. Other familiar trade names include Barbie, Paw Patrol, My Little Pony, Peppa Pig, Hot Wheels, LOL Surprise! and many more. With the holidays coming up, family board games are always a popular choice and you’ll find everything here, from Scrabble, Catan, Pictionary, Cluedo, 30 Seconds and Charades, to Boereplaas, Ticket to Ride, The Next Stop and various versions of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.
Visit Kidz Stuff at 16 Mitchell St, Hermanus or www.kidzstuffhermanus.co.za. Contact 028 312 4373 / firstname.lastname@example.org. For online shopping, go to https://bit.ly/kidzstuffhermanus where you can browse and shop from the comfort of your home.